Artist: Eimear Kavanagh; Liverpool, England
QUESTION: What was your biggest challenge?
Eimear Kavanagh: Procrastination and self doubt.
QUESTION: How are you doing now?
Eimear Kavanagh: I haven’t even got time to procrastinate even if I wanted to. (laughs) Self doubt? Yeah; It’s not there anymore.
QUESTION: How did you try to sell your art before?
Eimear Kavanagh: I mean because I spent a whole 10 years just plodding along it was like when I sold a painting it was just the odd one here or there or if I had put some work up in a show, or in a group show or something then I would probably get one, if I was lucky- two commissions a year. I spent a lot of my time applying for things that I knew that hundreds of other artists were applying for, so I don’t do that anymore.
QUESTION: How are your art sales now?
Eimear Kavanagh: As soon as I get a commission completed, I get a phone call for another one. So it’s been unbelievable.
QUESTION: How are you selling your art?
Eimear Kavanagh: It’s been happening so rapidly and it’s like, for example, the exhibition that I’ve got on at the moment; so much has come from that. First of all, it got extended an extra month so it was only supposed to be up for a month in the first place and it’s still not finished. I’ve sold four paintings from it and I’ve got four commissions from it as well. I’ve had three interviews done on me. I’ve had photographers taking portrait pictures of me. All of those things came to me free without me asking, so it just feels as though in everything that I’m doing, I’m just getting an abundance of sales and people contacting me and people interested in what I’m doing.
QUESTION: What’s changed since you joined?
Eimear Kavanagh: How I feel about myself, definitely. Now when I think about what I want for myself I believe that I’m going to get it. And I never used to because if I tried to use positive affirmations and things like that, there would just be so much self doubt underneath what I was really trying to believe. It feels as if all of that has gone and now I just trust in what’s coming and believe that it’s going to keep getting better and better as I go through the program more and as I learn about how to run the business.
QUESTION: How did you change your beliefs?
Eimear Kavanagh: Through meditation practice. It’s a daily practice and it’s something that I have to keep working on and working on, but it just comes naturally for me to do that. I can’t imagine having a day without that practice now, even if it’s only a short bit of time, but it’s because I know how far I’ve got with it and how much it’s helped me, doing the practice, with my business.
QUESTION: How do you find people to buy your art?
Eimear Kavanagh: A huge part of where I’ve got today is that I’ve really put myself out there and getting to know people and I think that referrals really work well when I’m just being myself and just being natural. Because I love music and have a passion for music, I’m in the scene anyway, so all my friends that I have gotten to know have been part of bands or whatever. And then, not intentionally, but I was more and more getting to know the people who were running the record labels and running the music nights and stuff like that. All of the networking is a huge contribution and the way that things are working for me is that I’ll do one commission for one person and then everybody sees that I’ve worked for that band or whatever. And then it’s like word has gotten around and I’m asking for referrals at the end of a commission. It just feels like such a natural thing to do
QUESTION: Is it hard to ask for referrals?
Eimear Kavanagh: By the time it’s complete I’m friends with them anyway so it is just so easy for me to ask them if they know anybody that they could refer me to. To be honest I couldn’t say that there’d be a single person that’s come back to me and rung me up and said, “oh, so and so’s referred me to you.” It’s more a case of in the act of me asking it just somehow put my intention out there and it’s almost like it’s asking universally because sooner or later it’s guaranteed that someone is contacting me again. So it just feels like it’s all in the flow.
QUESTION: Do you actually get referrals?
Eimear Kavanagh: She’s already referred me to her friends. I know she’s so happy with what she’s buying from me, that she’s made it really clear in her email because she’s expressing how much she love painting. Then she told me that she’d shown all her friends the little business card (because she bought the word that’s used in my business card) and she told me that she was telling them all about the meaning of the work. I know that before I even asked her for a referral she’s already referred me, and it’s from being yourself.
QUESTION: Do you sell through art galleries?
Eimear Kavanagh: I very, very, very, very rarely sold through galleries. I had, in the past, like one or two pieces of work up in group shows and I might have sold one or two little pieces and then the gallery took 50% of the work. But I’ve not got to meet or know anything about the buyer.
QUESTION: Have you completed the program?
Eimear Kavanagh: I have not started to work on my idea of my four part code yet.
Ann Rea: Wow! See this is it. I really want to say: you can get value out of the program without checking every single box.
Eimear Kavanagh: Oh, so much. So much.
QUESTION: What was your life like before you enrolled?
Eimear Kavanagh: If you were to see my life pre ‘MAKING Art Making MONEY’ you would see why I was making art and not making money; because I had absolutely no goals and absolutely no plan. I literally was just plodding along. So there’s been so many guidelines up until course 4. There’s been so many guidelines that have helped me and course 4 is just amazing as well because it’s the first time in my art business career that I’ve even thought about writing a business plan. It feels like it’s given me so much structure to be able to pull everything together and in a good order, and have some proper, realistic goals.
QUESTION: What advice would you give other artists?
Eimear Kavanagh: Apart from your course? I can’t think of any other advice that I could give to another artist other than to join your course, only because of the sort of real deep self-empowering work I went through at the beginning of your course. So because for years I’ve been doing yoga and meditation and trying out lots of different things, I’d never got to the core of what my art was about. I didn’t even begin to try and understand what it was about. So how on earth was I going to be able to explain that to someone else? It was meaningless to me and it was meaningless to everybody else and I didn’t realize the importance of getting that right.
QUESTION: Will artists succeed if they don’t know their “Why”?
Eimear Kavanagh: Yeah. It’s not going to happen.
Ann Rea: It’s so not going to happen (laughs)
Eimear Kavanagh: It’s really painful thinking back to how it was or even seeing it in other people now as well, not having any direction. I just wasted a lot of time. If I could have found a program like this 10 years ago, I’d be flying by now.
QUESTION: Why did you decide to enroll?
Eimear Kavanagh: Someone really randomly sent me a link to your course. I opened it and I watched I think two short videos with you talking about the course and I just enrolled. I didn’t have any money at the time. It was really not like me to quite spontaneously go for something that costs that amount of money, because I was living in the “poor artist” mode but I just enrolled and I knew. I trusted you. I knew that you were genuine. I liked what the course seemed to be about and for me it was the best thing I’ve ever done in my business or for myself.
Ann Rea: Nice!
QUESTION: How is the program?
Eimear Kavanagh: We all know that you’ve put so much thought into structuring it and it really just works if you put the work in.
QUESTION: Should other artists apply to enroll?
Eimear Kavanagh: just do it. They’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. They get to know themselves. There’s no pressure on the course. I’ve had such a busy year and I’ve still managed to keep doing it in my own time. I’m putting it down when I’ve not managed to get through the course, have a little breaks from it, so there’s no pressure. You Meet loads of people on the way and make loads of like-minded friends, people who understand and are on the same page as you. It’s just a fantastic support network.
MAKING Art Making MONEY
Someday is Today